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Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-12-17 14:58:12
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The whole evening and the following day I spent in a sort of dejected apathy. I remember I tried to work and took up Keidanov, but the boldly printed lines and pages of the famous text-book passed before my eyes in vain. I read ten times over the words: ‘Julius Caesar was distinguished by warlike courage.’ I did not understand anything and threw the book aside. Before dinner-time I pomaded myself once more, and once more put on my tail-coat and necktie.

‘Thank God, to be sure . . . only how can you form an opinion of them, then?’

Well named Great! Mistress of the seas, arb’tress

Our hero and heroine re-entered the house by a similar glass-door, leading into Mrs. Montgomery’s dressing-room, and were soon hand in hand at her bed-side.

He must indeed correct its mad and wild intensity! The habit of being in her society, would, he hoped, assist him to do so! would moderate the extraordinary effect that society now had upon him! would enable him to sober down his feelings into those of a truly affectionate brother, really solicitous for the welfare of a sister he sincerely loves.

And wheels were rolling, and lights were passing,

Yes, Zina?da amused herself hugely at my expense. For three weeks I saw her every day, and what didn’t she do with me! She rarely came to see us, and I was not sorry for it; in our house she was transformed into a young lady, a young princess, and I was a little overawed by her. I was afraid of betraying myself before my mother; she had taken a great dislike to Zina?da, and kept a hostile eye upon us. My father I was not so much afraid of; he seemed not to notice me. He talked little to her, but always with special cleverness and significance. I gave up working and reading; I even gave up walking about the neighbourhood and riding my horse. Like a beetle tied by the leg, I moved continually round and round my beloved little lodge. I would gladly have stopped there altogether, it seemed . . . but that was impossible. My mother scolded me, and sometimes Zina?da herself drove me away. Then I used to shut myself up in my room, or go down to the very end of the garden, and climbing into what was left of a tall stone greenhouse, now in ruins, sit for hours with my legs hanging over the wall that looked on to the road, gazing and gazing and seeing nothing. White butterflies flitted lazily by me, over the dusty nettles; a saucy sparrow settled not far off on the half crumbling red brickwork and twittered irritably, incessantly twisting and turning and preening his tail-feathers; the still mistrustful rooks cawed now and then, sitting high, high up on the bare top of a birch-tree; the sun and wind played softly on its pliant branches; the tinkle of the bells of the Don monastery floated across to me from time to time, peaceful and dreary; while I sat, gazed, listened, and was filled full of a nameless sensation in which all was contained: sadness and joy and the foretaste of the future, and the desire and dread of life. But at that time I understood nothing of it, and could have given a name to nothing of all that was passing at random within me, or should have called it all by one name — the name of Zina?da.


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